The ISI-Taliban Alliance behind attacks on NATO supply trucks in Pakistan

Collateral damage: On Sunday, 3 October, at least six killed as NATO oil tankers were ambushed by the ISI's agents in Islamabad

There is now irrefutable evidence which suggests the following:

1. The ISI-Taliban Alliance (i.e., the Taliban in uniform and the Taliban in civil clothes) are behind recent attacks on NATO supply trucks in Pakistan

2. Pakistan’s foreign office is completely dominated by the ISI. Pakistan’s civilian government has no control on the country’s foreign policy. In particular, policies on India, Afghanistan, USA, UK etc are made in the army’s GHQ and implemented through their civilian servants (civil bureaucrats) in the foreign office.

3. There is currently an intense battle happening between the ISI and the CIA. Innocent Pakistanis and Afghanis are being killed in this battle by both spy agencies on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border.

Here is a selection of media reports which can be reviewed as an evidence to the above statements:

1. Pakistan shut down the Torkham border crossing – the most important NATO supply into Afghanistan – on Thursday in apparent protest of a NATO helicopter attack that killed three Pakistani soldiers on the frontier. It was the third such incursion into Pakistan in less than a week.

2. Senior U.S. officials acknowledged high tension between the two capitals that crested with the border closure. On the Pakistani side, the incursions into Pakistan by U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan provoked an unusually strong government condemnation. On the U.S. side, publication of a video that may show Pakistani military officers summarily executing insurgents threatened to undermine public and congressional support for U.S. aid. (Source: Huffington Post)

3. “Oh Pakistani soldiers, shoot down the drones, cut the NATO supplies and abandon American’s war,” said a statement from the Pakistani branch of the international Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir.(Source: Huffington Post)

4. Just after midnight, about 10 suspected militants attacked 27 tankers parked at an ordinary truck stop on the edge of Shikarpur town in Sindh province, far from the Afghan border. They forced the drivers to flee by firing in the air before setting them ablaze, said police officer Abdul Hamid Khoso. A truck driver and his assistant were burned alive in the second attack on a single tanker in the parking lot of a restaurant in southeastern Baluchistan province, said police officer Mohammad Azam. (Source: Huffington Post)

5. Public reaction? Pakistan has not imposed any ban on the supply of goods to Nato forces but merely shut it down temporarily due to security reasons, Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit said on Sunday. “We did not ban Nato supplies. The temporary suspension comes in the wake of public reaction after the attacks. It will be restored when things get settled,” Basit told a British television channel. (Source: Express Tribune)

6. Taliban claim the attacks: Nato oil tankers in Shikarpur were torched by Taliban – By Mushtaq Yusufzai – PESHAWAR: Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Nato oil-tankers near Shikarpur in Sindh on Friday in which 27 tankers were burnt. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq on Saturday called media people, including The News, from an undisclosed location and took the credit for the attack on oil-tankers in Sindh. He said the armed men who attacked the Nato supply vehicles in Sindh were in fact militants and affiliated with the TTP led by Hakimullah Mahsud. He said those involved in the first-ever attack on the Nato supplies in Sindh belonged to the mobile ‘Siyara Group.’ “They were local militants and had acquired training in South Waziristan and returned to their native towns to start attacks on government and security installations,” he claimed. Azam Tariq said 27 oil-tankers were destroyed in the attack. The oil-tankers, he said, were parked near a filling station in Shikarpur. The Taliban spokesman said they had already attacked Nato supplies in Peshawar, Khyber Agency, Islamabad and various places in Balochistan and the Punjab and would now target them in Sindh as well. (Source: The News, 3 Oct 2010)

7. The ISI-CIA battle: Analysts say that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are locked in an intense battle to secure their respective countries’ interests in the region. On Saturday U.S. helicopters violated Pakistan’s airspace and killed 50 people in the bordering area of the country near Afghanistan. And it seems that the ISI retaliated on Friday by torching NATO oil tankers for violating Pakistan’s airspace. The CIA stepped up its unmanned aerial bombing campaign in Pakistan. The CIA initiated 20 attacks with armed drones so far in September, as top officials work to stem the rise of U.S. casualties before the Obama administration’s review of its Afghanistan strategy in December, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Pakistan criticized a pair of NATO airstrikes on its territory, saying they were a violation of its sovereignty. U.S. officials have said they have an agreement that allows aircraft to cross a few miles (kilometers) into Pakistani airspace if they are in hot pursuit of a target. But Pakistan denied on Monday such an agreement exists. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release Monday that the mandate of foreign troops in Afghanistan ends at the Afghan border. Pakistan said that unless corrective measures are implemented, it will have to “consider response options.” (Source: Tehran Times)

8. The ISI’s admission: “Pakistan is not a walkover country,” warned the senior ISI official. If the United States continues its cross-border attacks, he said, “I will stand in the way of the convoys myself.” (Source: Washington Post)

9. ISI’s private support and public manoeuvring on the drone attacks: The ISI has privately backed the drone attacks, even though the Pakistani government publicly protests them. But the official cautioned that the recent barrage may be overkill. He said that by Pakistan’s count, of the 181 drone attacks since 2004, 75 have come in the past nine months. “The quality of the targets is not as good,” he said. “The perception is that you are trigger-happy.” Asked about American attempts to target the Haqqani network, a ruthless Taliban faction that in the past has had links with the ISI, the ISI official seemed to give a green light: “I would be happy if they go today. It will end so much trouble for Pakistan.” But he said Pakistan would oppose any attempt to widen the so-called “box” within which Predator drones can strike targets. (Source: Washington Post)

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